Other water activities

You can enjoy a wide range of water activities on the Broads but some are not appropriate for this untamed area.

Jet-skiing, kite-surfing and the use of towed inflatables like ringos are not allowed on the water controlled by the Broads Authority while open water swimming is . This is due to the nature of the wash they produce, its likely effect on other water users, erosion of the bankside and the fragile ecosystem as well as for safety reasons.


While water-skiing is allowed under strict permit conditions the Broads Authority Registration Byelaws 1997 byelaw 23 excludes jet-skiing within the navigation area.

If you want to jet ski one of the best sites on the doorstep of the Broads is Sea Palling where there is a small charge for launching and recovery, good facilities and good beaches with lifeguard provision in the summer months. Look up the postcode NR12 0AL on maps or your GPS system.


Kite-surfing is another activity that is not relevant for the Broads. The rivers are relatively narrow and can have a great deal of boat traffic and many sites have conservation designation like Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs).

Because of this the Broads Authority Boating Safety Management Group in consultation with its stakeholders concluded that the activity should not be allowed on the Broads.

However if you do wish to kite surf there are premier sites very close to the Broads on the North Norfolk Coast. Beaches such as Hunstanton, Heacham, Snettisham and Brancaster to name just a few are all loved by kite surfers. Facilities and other information can be found at NorfolkCoast.net.

Ringos and other towed inflatables

While ringos and other towable inflatables can be good fun towed behind a powerful boat their use is not allowed on the Broads for safety reasons.

There are many safe places around the Norfolk and Suffolk coast where towable inflatables can be used, as well as water skis, but we would suggest that you contact British Water ski and Wakeboard for recognised facilities.

Open water swimming

Open water swimming is a massively growing activity in the UK. While we actively discourage people from swimming in the broads and rivers due to the strong currents, busy boating traffic and cold water we do have organisations who occasionally manage open water swimming events on the Broads. We would recommend anyone intending to organise an event on the Broads to contact our waterways team.

Individuals who engage in the activity unsupervised do not generally have the support mechanisms of an organised activity. You can read more on our outdoor swimming webpage.

Organising events

If you are planning an organised event please see our events guidance web page for more information on how to proceed.

Underwater diving

Due to the shallow nature of the Broads, prevalence of water plants, strong current in the lower stretches and high levels of boating traffic the Broads Authority does not recommend recreational underwater diving in the Broads. Those who do choose to dive are advised to read more on our Scuba diving web page, consider the substantial risks and put in place measures to mitigate them.

Diving as part of an organised event (including litter picks)

All events being planned on the Broads need permission from the Authority. As part of issuing permission, the Authority can set conditions to help ensure the safety of participants and other river users. This usually involves event organisers producing a risk assessment to cover the key risks involved with the activity. Under byelaw 86 of the Navigation Byelaws 1995, it is an offence not to notify the Authority of any such event.

For further details see our webpage on diving and on organising events in the Broads.